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Donna Aiello 
Stanley Holland 
Sharon Peck 
Barbara Pillasch 
M. RamZ 
Patricia Shue 
John Stobart 


September 23, 1988 
November 18, 1988 

In order to get a selection published in this issue, 
four of the above had to vote for acceptance. For the 
award winners, only John Stobart is responsible. 

All copyrights are retained by the authors, and material 
may not be reprinted without their permission. 

anuscripts or cover desi.-'ns 

must be submitted to John Ft Vcart 
in Room C-IO69 by: 

September 23, 1983 

Manuscripts will not be returned 



W. A. Kahle $25 
Paulette Georgantas ^10 

No Prose Awards this issue. 
Bill Fetrovic £20 


Paulette Georgantas Silence 77. .7. T 

Judy Belf ield Ephemera 1 

Kristin Schaeffer I Was Standing 2 

Joe Talluto Porchlight 2 

Amy E. Harris Reflections 2 

James Burkey In Search of Reality 2 

Andrew When You Know 5 

Andrew Old Knowledge 5 

Judy Belf ield Seer . . 5 

Andrew Ask Grandma 5 

MaryAnn DesMarais Life' s Indecision 6 

Andrew In Fact 6 

Lisa Strubin Bumper Stickers 6 

d. f . aiello The Two Dollar Bill 6 

James L. More An Early Morning At The Deer Stand 9 

DOA The Joy Of Gardening Q 

Kristin Schaeffer Rising Sun Rap 10 

Andrew Muggy Weather 10 

Andrew Humid Air 10 

MaryAnn DesMarais Theater Of Pain 10 

Andrew Life Sentence 11 

Sharon Peck Intimacy Approached 11 

Judy Belf ield Conceit 11 

Duanne Walton The Seduction Of Seth Corrigan 11 

Andrew Never 13 

Elizabeth Russell Blush 13 

Laurette Morello No , You Wouldn ' t 13 

Val Heat on Being Used lU 

Andrew Lovesick ik 

Sharon Peck U nity ik 

Andrew- Jealousy lU 

Judy Belf ield Magic 15 

Andrew Old Bedroom 15 

Andrew Cedar Chest 15 

John Buell Eraser Head 16 

Judy Belfield ^""v ^ _ ...And On Palatine 

fe. i 

Paulette Georgantas 


There was a silence when you spoke to me 

Of proprieties, 

Of hands neatly folded in a lap 

Or legs crossed only at the ankles, 

Of postures, 

Of things that proper ladies do, 

But often, 

So much more often, 

Of things that ladies don't. 

A vacancy. 

Muted, echoless emotions 

Like fingernails clipping an empty tin can. 

A vacuous distance 

Between my fingers 

And your hand. 

A desert cactus, 


By dry, wind-blown sand. 

A pleonastic struggle, shadowed in silence. 

Words without rest- 


In heat-crushing anguish 

Toward some silvered, liquid mirage, 

Grasping at the acceptance 

Of all who had shunned you 

For your mother's lack of virtue. 

An unholy quest 

To clasp within your illegitimate palm 

One shard 

Of a shattered, crystalling heirloom. 

But the vision, 

Ever distant, 


Vanished in the heat of the sun 

As I cupped my hand 

To gather the moisture 

That might quench your endless thirst. 

On and on we went 

In blistered, 

Pustul ant-silence 

To raze the whore 


In the flighty eyes 

And liberal laughter 

Of the woman you had buried 

In some parched and withered place 

Within your mind. 

You drew stars on calendar squares 

For each day of desolation 

That I desecrated no rule. 

Monthly, I obtained 

The prize of perfection 

That I might never be 

My grandmother's image. 

In deference, 

I clothed myself in ash-brown, 

Shorn from a rootless tree, 
That vanity could never take me 
And cast me into the arms of a lover 
I dwelled there with you, 
In that void, 
A dead stump 

Giving shade to a cold stone, 
Forever seeking your touch 
And hearing only- 


Judy Belfield 


A blend of violins 

as smooth as bourbon 

poured itself into air. 

Silence was drunk: 

slurred its wordlessness, 

stretched as lazily 

as a waking leopard's paws. 

A something happened 

in those soft moments — ■ 

a something separated from life 

yet desperately clutching. 

I felt it 

creeping up my neck 

like a warm shadow 

capable of saturating skin. 

I wonder how I might explain 

the something (which happened 

as casually as the flick 

of a moth's wing, 

the sudden twitch of autumn into winter 

or winter to spring). 

How shall I say without inelegance 

a thing absurd? 



Kristin Schaeffer 


I was standing at the corner store 

I didn't go there to shop 

I was only passing by 

When something made me stop 

A great big grinning tiger 
Who escaped out of the zoo 
Looked me right straight in the eye 
And said, "How do you do?" 

I kept myself quite quiet 
For I know they can sense fear 
And all the while was thinking 
How will I get out of here 

But then I put my glasses on 
And took a closer look 
And still I don't remember 
Exactly how long that it took 

And then I realized it 
I felt like such a jerk 
The tiger was just a statue 
So I continued on to work. 

A game of night tag. 

Dogs bark here, 

Over there. 

Sometimes a car 

Drivin' slow. 

People sounds fade. 

Kids go to bed. 

Crickets on second encore. 

Sittin' on a porch 

Late night, summer. 


Amy E. Harris 


I'm the girl in the mirror 
With the sad, sad eyes 
Seeing the whole truth 
Reflecting all the lies 
Through the transparent haze 
Of my cellophane soul 


James Bur key 



Joe Talluto 


Sittin' back on a porch 
Late evening, summer. 
Sun is settin' 
Still hot outside. 
Breeze kicks up 
Swirls the day's dust. 
Field crickets 
Start the concert. 
Kids go to dinner. 
Back out later, 
Playing until dark. 
Cooler now. 
Sun ' s gone down . 
Stars come out above, 
Stars fly in the woods. 
Sprinkler startin' 
Late night work. 
Backyard bugs 
Purple glow 
With electric death. 
Kids squeal. 

Bob shuddered as Lucy opened the 
window to her 23rd-floor apartment. 
Sunlight streamed in, blinding him mo- 
mentarily, but once his eyes adjusted 
to the new rays of the morning, he 
scanned the room and could see her. 
Not Lucy, the appealing, pretty young 
blonde who could arouse the interest 
of any male kind enough to overlook 
her peg leg and hook prosthesis, no, 
not her, but Sussette, sweet Sussette, 
sleek, lithe, graceful Sussette. He 
knew that he loved her. Whenever she 
was near, he felt his heart beat like 
a drum in his chest. He longed to be 
near her...! If only he could get out 
of his prison. . . ! If only he could 
get out of this damned bowl and be near 
her! If only... But no, it would 
never be. He was but a fish and she 
but a cat, and the world, cruel and un- 
caring, had set them apart 

His water was getting warm in the 
sunlight, making him even more uncom- 
fortable, as he gazed longingly at 
his beloved. 


( continued) 

In Search of Reality, ~^nt.? rmed 

Lucy, by this time, had started 
getting ready for the day when she glanced 
over at the fishbowl and noticed that Bob 
had his little mouth pressed up against the 
glass, seemingly staring at the cat. 

"Naah, he must be hungry or something...," 
she muttered to herself, twitching spasmodical- 
ly. She grabbed some fish food from a cabi- 
net and blundered her way across the apart- 
ment, breaking china, bumping into furni- 
ture, and stepping on Ralf, the dog, with 
her peg leg, nearly putting a hole through 

Yelping, Ralf relieved himself on the 
carpet and leapt up into the air. Seeing 
that it was merely Lucy, his beloved owner, 
he quickly began showing his affections for 
her, as all dogs do, by copulating with 
her leg. 

"Ralf, you silly thing! Get off, 
Boy! Down!" Lucy cried, beating off the 
small bulldog with her massive iron hooks, 
inflicting several flesh wounds and nearly 
crippling him. 

Once she determined that Ralf wouldn't 
be getting up for awhile, Lucy wiped off 
her leg with a pair of discarded underwear 
and left the apartment, seemingly forgetting 
to feed Bob. The door swung shut with 
a heavy click. 

"Where the hell did she go?" rasped 
Ralf weakly from the floor. 

"Oh great! Now you've done it Ralf! 
You stupid mongrel! It's as obvious as 
the drool on your chin that she has gone and 
left us for good! She's left us all to die! 
Who's going to feed us? Who's going to 
change my water when it gets green? WHO 
Bob quaked and trembled in his bowl, making 
intricate patterns of ripples on the water's 

"Oh suck red tide, Bob! Jeezus! She 
ain't left us fer' good!" 

"How the hell do you know that, eh, 
Mr. SMARTY? How the hell would you know? 
She's gone, I tell you! Gone for good! 
And now we're all gonna die! We're all 
gonna shrivel up like prunes and die! Oh 
God, why? WHY?]? This is all your fault, 
Ralf. All your fault." 

"If you don't clam your neurotic 
mouth, Bob, I'm gonna take a leak in 
your fish bowl again!" 

That shut Bob up long enough for Lester 
to butt in. 

"Would you faggots mind shutting the 
freaking farts up for a second, so decent 


human beings like me can finish sleep- 

Lester, the rat, had been sleep- 
ing peacefully in Sussette's litter 
box, and resented having his beauty 
sleep time interrupted by what he 
deemed, 'mere animals'. 

Ralf responded with a few dark 
words of his own, and soon the two 
began bickering over who was truly the 
best groomed animal in the house. 

Bob ignored them, since he was 
more worried about what Sussette must 
think of him now. He thought his 
"Tough guy" approach would impress the 
socks off of her, so to speak, and found 
himself terribly disappointed to find 
that she was ignoring him steadfastly 
now. A trickle of a tear left his 
eye and merged with the rest of the 
water in his bowl. Apparently she 
likes sensitive men, casual and quiet, 
and yet strong-willed and handsome, 
he decided, preparing himself mentally 
for his new role. 

Lester just sat in the litter box 
and stared at the rest of them in 
sullen resentment. They were nothing, 
he thought, and yet they dared address 
him in such a manner! How dared they? 
They were nothing! Less than nothing! 
He was the higher lifeform here! 
He was the great amongst them! His 
sullen expression slowly warped into 
a demented smile. Lester was a happy 
rat , a content rat . He was a rat with 
a purpose, and one far above such ilk 
as these 'mere animals'. The others 
were just pets, but he wasn't! He 
wasn't like them! He was his own 
master, and soon to be master of 
these. . .these. . .peasants too! Yess... 

A globulet of spittle quivered, 
almost with a life of its own, as it 
cascaded off Ralf's jowls, staining 
the white carpet beneath him. 

Meanwhile, high above all this, 
in the upper atmosphere of the living 
room, Bubba, the horsefly, buzzed about 
in perpetual fear, because he knew 
that everyone in the whole world was out 

to get him. Yes, everyone from the 
tormented goldfish to the psychotic 
rat wanted him dead. He didn't know 
why, for he had done nothing, but every 
single living creature in the entire 
planet wanted him dead, and were going 


In Search of Reality, continued 

to no bounds to complete this goal. But 
Bubba wasn't a stupid fly; he knew he 
was marginally safe here in this room 
full of physically and mentally handi- 
capped creatures . No one would think 
to look for him here... 

But no one, not even Bubba, whose 
eyes saw almost everything, knew about 
Clyde. Lester, the rat, the nosiest 
creature in the dwelling, had no notion 
of Clyde's very existence. Clyde, that 
is, the pickle. Clyde was no run-of- 
the-mill dill, however, he was no kosher 
kosher. No, he was different from 
other pickles because he had suffered. 
He had loved and lost. He had seen his 
beloved Cyndi, the adorable little dill 
next to him in the jar, killed before 
his very astonished eyes. Just when 
he thought he was the happiest pickle 
in the world. . . , Just when everything 
seemed to be going his way at last, 
just when they had agreed to be married 
and spend the rest of their existence 
together ... ,that hook... that evil hook, 
reached into the jar and impaled the 
wailing Cyndi. And Lucy, the wickedest 
witch he'd ever dreamed of, devoured 
his dill right in front of him as she 
writhed and screamed, pleading for 
her life. 

But Clyde knew he would have 
revenge...! Someday the bitch would die 
at his hands. He would avenge himself 
and his lost love, and countless other 
devoured pickles who lost their lives 
to the evil one. 

Bob pressed his face up even harder 
to the glass of his prison bowl. There 
she was, the love of his life, Sussette. 
Some day, they would be together. 
He dreamed of the day he would flop out 
of his bowl, make his way over to his 
queen, and with his last, dying gasps, 
suck the lint and hairballs from between 
the spaces of her toes. Ah, true love, 
he thought, is so beautiful. 

It was then he realized that, due to 
the rigor he had been using to press his 
face up against the glass, his lips were 
now stuck to the side of the bowl. 

Sussette stretched and yawned. 

And a globulet of spittle quivered, 
almost with a life of its own, as it 
cascaded off Ralf's jowls, staining the 
carpet below. 

Silently, Sussette got up and 
walked over to the fishbowl, leaping 
up to the table where the bowl rested. 
The goldfish inside, Joe, or was it 
Rob, was staring expectantly, a strange 
look of lust in his eyes. He seemed to 
be waiting for something as he glanced 
at her toes. 

"This is it! The moment I've 
waited for! I'm here, my darling 
Sussette! I love you! I'm..." 

Bob never got to finish his sen- 

"Oh my God! Oh piss," Ralf 
slobbered, "Sussette just ate Bob!" 

"Bob, yes, that was it," muttered 
the cat as she gracefully leapt off 
of the table down to the floor. 

■Meanwhile, Lester, in his plan 
for world domination, urinated in a 
pitcher of milk that Lucy left out . 

Bubba, on the other hand, was 
hidden inside a cabinet where a jar 
of pickles, conveniently left open, 
became his dumping grounds for a large 
load of eggs. 

Clyde, in utter revulsion, 
screamed his death throes as millions 
of tiny soon-to-be maggots oozed into 
the jar, enveloping his body. His 
revenge would have to wait . 

Lester slinked back into the 
litter box and was just falling asleep 
as Lucy returned home from downstairs 
where she was out causing public 
disturbances and automobile accidents 
for fun. Lester smiled as he drifted 
off. . .knowing that tomorrow the world 
would be his. 

As for Ralf, he proceeded to make 
love to every available appendage as 
his owner, Lucy, made her spasmodic 
way across the room. 

"Down, Ralf!" she said, raising 
one hook which glinted evilly in the 
light of the mid-morning. Ralf sat 
down immediately and played crippled. 

Sussette coughed up a little 
bit of Joe... or Bob, yes, Bob, to show 
her mistress what a fine thing she had 

Lucy laughed as she wiped the 
goldfish's head off of her bare feet, 
and petted her cat vigorously, leaving 
several gouges deep in her flesh, and 
remarked what a fine huntress her 



In Search of Reality, continued 

kitty was. 

And a globulet of spittle quivered, 
almost with a life of its own, as it cas- 

caded off Half's jowls, staining the 
carpet below. . . 

to be continued. .. (not really) 






You know it ' s good 

when the beauty of it 

tickles your brain 

to tingle all the distance 

through your willing spine. 



Indulgence or excess 

three instead of one 

never a second glace 

or briefest consideration 

at the yellowing flyers 

hanging and aging outside 

Red Cross offices 

The Starving Children's Fund 

is way away off 

in another ' s ardent prayers 

while the kiddies play 

in Gucci summerwear 

and jovially joke 

about the funny-looking boy 

on a "missing" poster , . . 

the ancient bag lady 

lying in private filth 

will expire at noon 


as the Cadillacs 

and Lincolns 

roll by. 


Multisyllablized wizard 
a certain craftiness with words 
might believe to have the answers 
to decipher catastrophic instances 
floating inside a hurricane's eye 
maybe Rasputin or Cayce could 've given 

of dominance lacking lasting control, 

there's this old, old lady 
crocheting in a weatherbeaten rocker 
not famous 
not even rich — 
but my God, 


Judy Belfield 


Far from heaven — 

unheard, unseen 

in the nightblack eye 

of a sleeping panther 

we rest 

no longer troubled 

with wheezes and rasps , 

labored breaths — 

not troubled. 

We transform rapidly 

in the nightblack eye — 

a dream dreamt 

without sense, 

discarded for another 

more vibrant 

less terrifying. 


Mary Ann DesMarais 




When to talk 

or remain silent 

Questions arise during distant walks 

Wondering where our time went 

At the long road ahead, I balk 

Forced to remember time foolishly spent 

Oh! to turn back the hands of the clock 
-n- start all over — do it all again 
Instead, I lazily recline on the shore's rocks 
-n- ponder my stupidity at Life's Indecision 
Laughing in the face of chances to leave marks 
of mine on this world — Time waits for No One 

Surreptitious deeds 
little works of art , 
as dandelion seeds 
the breeze carried apart : 
we practice our talents 
in every inch of life — 
adding an aura of balance 
by solitary act . 


Lisa Strubin 



d. f. aiello 


Characters : Di 



Joe, the bartender 

Scene: A small empty bar. Three 
women are sitting on bar- 
stools with an empty stool 
between each. The one in 
the middle stool continuous- 
ly checks her watch. The 
two women on either side watch 
her and smile to themselves. 
Joe is sitting on a stool be- 
hind the bar reading a west- 
ern paperback book. He 
raises his head to check the 
contents of the three 
glasses. He sets the book 
down and walks toward the 
women . 

Joe: You ladies ready for another drink? 

Sharon: Sure, Joe. One for each of us. 

(Sharon points to Di and Terry's empty 

glasses. ) 

Terry: No, really. I'm waiting for a 

friend. (Terry checks her watch 

once again.) He's late. 

— Joe leaves to make three drinks after 

Sharon motions with her head to go ahead. 

Sharon: My name's Sharon. I work here 

They follow him 

wherever he goes . 

Can't get rid of them, 

never leads 'em on, 

they just get attached. 

He can't help it — 

body of a Greek god, 

eyes of an angel, 

cursed with good looks ; 

women flock to him 

and nag and whirl 

'til he scrapes them off 

like a stubborn bumper sticker, 


on Friday and Saturday nights. (Sharon 
motions toward a small black nylon apron 
crumbled on the bar top . ) Just got 
off duty half-hour ago. Joe follows me, 
(Sharon raises her voice and looks at 
Joe's back as he mixes drinks) when he's 
on time I 

— Joe ignores her comment . 
Di: Hi. I'm Diane, but everyone calls 
me Di. 

Terry: Terry. (Terry says while point- 
ting to her chest.) Officially, it's 
Theresa, I answer to Theresa, but I like 
Terry better. 

(Terry's eyes nervously look at Di and 
Sharon, then back to her hands playing 
with the sipping straw from her empty 
glass . ) 



The Two Dollar Bill, r-vn.+ inued 

Sharon: First time you been in a "bar alone, 
Terry? (Sharon reaches for a cigarette.) 
Terry: Does it show that much? (She smiles 
nervously at Sharon. ) 

Sharon: The watch. (Sharon points to Terry's 
wrist as she moves to the stool "between them. ) 
It's the giveaway. I've seen women sit for 
hours at my bar all the time checkin their 
watches-like any minute some gorgeous date 
is gonna walk through that door. (Sharon 
points to the door behind their stools with 
her thumb over shoulder.) Listen, no one '11 
bother you here, unless you want 'em to. 
We'll tell Joe we're buying our own drinks. 
— Sharon laughs and Terry's body relaxes as 
Joe brings their drinks and picks up Sharon's 
money off the bar. 

Sharon: Joe, same rule for my friend here. 
No drinks, no hassles. 
— Joe nods his head. 

Joe: G6tcha. (He walks back to the corner, 
sits on the stool, picks up his book and 
reads again. ) 

— All three women reach for the straws in 
their drinks and slowly stir the liquor. 
Di : I always thought it would be fun to 
work where everyone else played. Do you 
like working here? 

Sharon : It ' s all right . The extra money 
helps cover the six-fifty I get at the 
office. (Sharon takes a swallow from her 
glass and puts out her cigarette.) Besides, 
I like having a familiar place to stop for 
a drink-without using the watch trick. 
— All three women laugh and drink from their 
glasses. Joe looks up from his book for a 
moment, shakes his head and continues read- 

Terry: Are you married? (She looks at Di 
and then at Sharon. ) 

Di: I was. Until two years ago. Caught him 
fooling around with a neighbor. 
Sharon: What did he do? Walk out your door 
and into hers? (Sharon laughs and Di smiles.) 
Di: He took up Jogging every night. When 
he started jogging two hours, I followed 
him. (Di reaches for her glass) Out my 
door, halfway round the block and into hers. 
(Di gulps half of the glass's contents.) 
— All three women finger-play with their 
glasses. They are silent for a few minutes. 
Sharon: It's been five years since I was 
married. Got tired of supporting his lazy 
ass. (Sharon lights another cigarette.) How 
about you? (She looks at Terry as she lights 
the cigarette. ) 

Terry: Two weeks. Final. I mean it's 
been final for two weeks. (Terry starts 

playing with Sharon's cigarette pack.) 
Di : A newcomer! (Di salutes Terry 
with her half-empty glass.) Don't 
worry, you're in the majority now. 
Do you have any kids? 
Terry: A little boy. Well, not so little. 
He's five-six next month. 
Di : I have two girls . Ten and twelve . 
Sharon: Did you always want kids, Di? 
(Sharon finishes off her glass.) 
— Diane waits for a moment, finishes her 
drink, then turns toward Terry and Sharon. 
Di : I always wanted a baby. The kid 
part just comes after. (She thinks a mo- 
ment more). Between two and nine, you could 
have kept my two, but past nine, well, 
we have fun together now. We talk, go to 
the movies. (Di shrugs her shoulders). 
We have fun. 

— Terry sits between Di and Sharon smiling 
slightly to herself. 

Sharon: It's funny. I've spent the last 
twenty years avoiding pregnancy. I never 
thought of myself as somebody's mother. 
(Quickly adds) I like kids, I just don't 
want anything that permanent. Especially 
while I was married to the creep! 
Di: The creep! Sounds like something 
you step on. (Di, Terry, and Sharon 
laugh. Terry signals for Joe to bring 
another round as she finishes her drink. ) 
Sharon: Your turn, Terry. (Terry reaches 
for her purse as Joe sets three glasses 
down on wet glass coasters.) 
— Terry plays with the change Joe gave her , 
head bent low again. Di and Sharon look 
at each other over Terry's head. 
Sharon: Hey, don't mind me. I'm just 
nosy. (Sharon reaches for her cigarette 
pack from in front of Terry). What's your 
little boy's name? 

Terry: Marc. Marc Harvey Johnson. 
Sounds like a hotel. (She says in a whis- 
per, smiles then adds in a childlike voice) 
We stayed at the Marc Harvey Johnson. 
(Terry looks at Sharon then at Di . ) 
Sounds phony, doesn't it? Like a cheap 
version. I catch myself, when I say the 
whole name together, thinking it should 
be Mock. 

• — Sharon and Di quickly take their eyes 
off Terry as she raises her head. 
Di : Why the Harvey? 

— Sharon gives Di a dirty look; Di si^plv 
shrugs her shoulders . 

Terry: Douglas insisted. After Harvey 
— Di and Sharon look at Terry and wait im- 

( continued) 

The Two Dollar Bill, continued 


Sharon: Who the hell is Harmey Mulk? 
(Di and Sharon start laughing as Sharon 
slurred her words . Terry laughs after 
they start. ) 

Terry: Some big ga y activist in San 
Francisco. He was elected Mayor-no, 
city council, I think. Anyway, some 
white, ROTC type marches into City Hall 
and shoots him. I think he shot somebody 
else too. 

— Terry finishes her drink. Diane mo- 
tions for Joe to fix another round as 
he looks up from his paperback. They 
look at each other and start laughing. 
Terry: (Still laughing) You'd think 
I would have figured it out. I mean, 
what kind of guy names his kid after 
Harvey Milk! (Terry stops laughing and 
says slowly) Maybe there were times. 
I can't remember. You think, it isn't 
right , but-Is there a list of rules 
someplace? (Terry shakes her head. ) 
I don't know. 

— Joe sets drinks down and takes Diane's 

Sharon: Your ex is gay? I mean, (she 
pauses a moment) he's really gay? 
Terry: (Terry takes a deep breath) As 
my father says , queer as a three-dollar 
bill. (Terry pauses and thinks.) He 
used to say two-dollar bill. Anything 
that didn't fit. (Says in husky voice) 
queer as a two-dollar bill. (Terry 
returns to her own voice. ) Can't say it 
anymore. (Terry points toward her wallet 
on the bar. ) I've got a two-dollar bill 
in my wallet. Keep it folded behind my 
license-like the penny in a penny loafer, 
remember? Besides, two-dollars bills 
are everywhere. You get them in change, 
but nobody has a place for the things. 
There aren't any slots for two-dollar 
bills. No room. (Terry's eyes are 
fixed on the smoky glass mirror behind 
the bar in front of her . ) I keep it 
folded up, hidden from the rest. 
— Di and Sharon finish their drinks , Terry 
realizes what they are doing and finishes 

Joe: Last call, Ladies. (Joe says as 
he checks his watch and starts walking 
toward them. ) 

Sharon: (Standing up quickly and a 
little wobbly) Anybody hungry? 
Di: I could use some coffee. (She stands 

slowly, holding onto the back of the 

bar stool. ) 

— Sharon and Di look at Terry still 

sitting between them. Terry starts to 

smile, stands up, and reaches for her 

wallet from the bar. 

Sharon: Terry, you wanna come? 

Terry: Yeah, I'll even buy the coffee, 

(Terry opens her wallet, pulls the 

two-dollar bill from its hiding place 

and puts it with the other bills.) 

— The three women walk out of the bar . 

Joe walks over to their glasses, picks 

them up, and wipes the bar top until 

it is clean and shining. 


James L. More 


It is very quiet and the stillness 
of night is all around. The dampness 
of dew can be felt everywhere. Steam 
is gently rolling ghostlike, lifting off 
from the creek and moving mysteriously 
with the thermal currents. An owl can 
be heard, who-ing in a nearby tree. A 
whipporwill is whistling its last calls 
of the night. A rooster in the dis- 
tance is sounding its first crows of the 
new dawning day. Soon robins start 
to chirp their melody as a host of 
sparrows and other song birds join in the 
chorus. The owl is now silent, as a 
crow lets his loud trumpet be heard. 
Squirrels start their busy day, putting 
on an acrobatic show, moving through 
the treetops. The blue jays make their 
presence be known with a loud shrill 
reedy voice. In the tree is a visual 
marvel of a spider ' s web with dew drop- 
lets still clinging along with mosqui- 
toes from the last night. The red oak 
tree's leaves have a hint of autumn soon 
to be. My thoughts pass silently as I 
sit using all my senses, exercising my 
perceptions, and enjoying the orchestra 
the conductor so perfectly brings to- 
gether at sunrise. 





Before Steve knev it, Sarah was dead. 
They were only having a small husband-wife 
spat when he shoved her. Steve could still 
hear the sickeningly dull thud her head pro- 
duced against the edge of the coffee table. 
It echoed in his nind incessantly. 

Steve found it easy to cover up her 
death. He had thought of calling the police, 
but decided against it; the J would probably 
think he did it on purpose. He told every- 
one Sarah had gone to live with her mother 
after they had had a fight. It was simple 
and believable. Steve and Sarah were known 
about town for their stormy marriage. 

The body was easily disposed of in the 
garden along with Sarah's prize-winning 
roses. Steve could have just as easily 
diced her up and flushed her down the toilet, 
but that would have been messy and disrespect- 
ful. After all, it wasn't a malevolent mur- 
der; it was a tragedy. She was now, literally, 
a flower among flowers . 

Everything went perfectly, that is, 
until his mother-in-law "popped over for a 

"But Sarah isn't at home right now," 
Steve said. 

"I can wait. I haven't travelled 63.^ 
miles to see you, did I?" 

"No, you did not, Bitch," Steve thought 
as he sat in a chair across from her. She 
stared at him for a while probably expecting 
him to say something then started searching 
through her purse for something that was 
probably not there. After an hour of un- 
comfortable silence, the old woman spoke. 

"Where is Sarah?" 

"I told you. She went out." 


"To the store." 

"For what?" 

"I don't know." Steve finally came to 
a decision. He definitely did not want to 
be quizzed for the next two hours, so he 
decided to tell the truth. 

"All right, if you must know, Sarah is 
in the garden. " 

He smiled openly. 

"The what?" 

"The garden. You know, with her 
roses. " 

She quickly pushed all her belongings 
off her lap onto the couch and walked 
through the house out onto the patio. 
Steve followed her and leaned against 
the open patio door with his hands in 
his pockets. She appeared to scan the 
back yard for Sarah, then whirled around 
to Steve. 

"What do you take me for? A fool? 
She's not here! You lied to me!" 

"No, I didn't. Come and see, mother." 
Steve had grabbed her arm and was force- 
fully dragging the old woman across to the 
rose bushes. "She's right in the roses." 
He pulled back a bush and displayed the 
raised mound of earth proudly. The old 
woman suddenly went limp and gawked with 
unbelieving eyes. Soon, Steve was al- 
most joyfully digging another grave next 
to his wife's, speaking to her as if she 
were still alive. 

"I have a visitor for you, Sarah. 
Guess who? It's your mother! Isn't 
that wonderful? See this shovel? I'm 
sorry, but I made a rather nasty dent in 
her skull with it. I hope you don't mind. 
I don't. You've taught me so much in 
the last couple weeks, Sarah. Like gar- 
dening, I've come to adore it. I stay 
here almost the entire day. Did you 
know that? Of course you did." 

He gleefully tossed the old woman's 
body into the hole. He whistled a snap- 
py tune as he filled it back up. Steve 
couldn't remember a time when he was hap- 
pier than he was at this moment. He gent- 
ly patted down the loose soil on the top. 
Leaning on the shovel , he stared at the 
two graves for a moment longer. 

"I love gardening, Sarah, but I don't 
think I can stop." He turned and left with 
his shovel. He had some gardening to do — 
starting with the Watson's next door. 



Kristin Schaefer 




Well we got a boss 

And her name's Irene 

But we like to call her 

the dragon queen 

She wears polyester every day 

we know she shops the salvation way 

there ' s another guy 

His name is ming 

when the radio is on 

He likes to sing 

He's really cool and he likes to cook 

when the pressure's on he can really book 

There ' s another guy 

And he's really old 

But that ' s okay 

He does what he's told 

He gets the eggrolls 

And that's his thing 

But that's okay 

He ' s friends with ming 




a touch past nine, 

in one half's sphere 

of Post Meridian infatuation .... 

a rising steaminess 

reaches a moist plateau: 

eminence of summer's thermostatic 

paradise . . . 

the heat is here 

panting downward on sweat-sopped faces 

needing the blasts of a 

garden hose's ammunition 

as heat-cracked pavement 

involuntarily oozes its syrupy tar 

burdening furnace-hot autos . . . 

evenings so ever hydrous 

are tenderly alive 

while flitting fireflies embellish 

nightfall in dynamic greenglow 

as intense in being as 

celebrated adolescent dalliance 

in a chlorinated pool 

soothing sore, itchy backsides 

of the sun's vicious burn. 


Muggy weather, 
on hot nights 
an artist or actor 
is privileged to 
pretend — 

in muggy weather 

when lives are 

lived a little 


allowing the true 

impact , 

of actions to be 

of a high veracity 


Mary Ann Desmarais 


Laughing hysterically it seems 

one minute— the next 

Crying . . .pathetically unending streams 

Who ' s to say what ' s best 

All the world ' s a stage 

phony actors die 
Exciting novel — turn the page 

lonely ladies sigh 
Jealous lovers in a fitful rage 

in muggy weather 

the crickets and 

animals are on 


as are the 

guts in us all — 


like an aged 


In my room — I sit alone 

Why care — nothing's left to gain 
My heart slowly turns to stone 

Imagination? or Theater of Pain 





Judy Belfield 



We cry 

through black nights 

in August heat 

as dark as foxholes 

sunken below a 

ravaged earth . . . 

Kisses shed light 

as cavecracks 

permit sun streaks 

to break inside 

a barren core 

and we then sigh 

in bursting relief, 

to soon forget 

the rigid cementing 

of our decisiveness — 

a mindful act 

conceived within 

a vacuous martyrdom. 


Sharon Peck 


she thought 

she might sit at a piano 

and play. 

She did not hear notes . 

She saw herself 

in layers of chiffon 

rippling down over the bench, 

the cloth quivering on the floor; 

she pictured her arms 

bare, milky, 

lifting and landing 


light as lullabyes . 

She dreamed her golden hair 

a Godiva extravaganza, 

dreamed a silent movie 

in pastel colors 

blurred ala Renoir, 

moving lavishly, languidly — ■ 

a graceful vision. 

She did not care much 

for sound. 


We almost touch, 

You and I. 

Like the trembling sparrow at my window, 

You hover 


With questioning eyes, 

Seeming to need me. 


Something intervenes 

As we venture toward intimacy. 

My gesture of friendship 

And offering of openness 

Frighten you away. 

You need to escape, 

To feel free. 

I understand 

And yet 

As I watch your flight 

I wonder . . . 

Where will your wings carry you? 

And are you freer than I? 




Duanne Walton 


It was the dream of a lifetime. Seth 
Corrigan had asked Jessica Menninger out 
on a date, and she accepted. Jessica was 
one of the most desired, most coveted, 
most beautiful, and most popular girls in 
Arthur Weedlemeyer Memorial High School. 
How Seth managed to convince her to go 
out with him was a complete mystery. 
(Seth attributed it to the grace of God. ) 
After a movie and a dinner at the local 
pizza place, Jessica invited Seth to her 
home, a palacial estate on top of a hill 
overlooking the town. 

"Wow! This is quite a place!" Seth 
exclaimed as they entered the huge living 

"You like it?" Jessica asked. 
"Yeah! Where's your Mora and Dad?" 
"They're in Ohio on a business trip." 
"I see," Seth said. Funny, why did 
he feel so uneasy? 


The Seduction of Seth Corrigan, continued 

"Want to see the rest of the house," 
Jessica asked. 

"Sure," Seth said. 

As he was showed around the house, 
Seth couldn't help but wonder why she 
brought him here. What was the purpose 
of bringing him to a huge deserted house? 
Unless... Oh no! She wouldn't do that, 
would she? She probably just wanted to 
show him around her house, didn't she? 

"How'd you like to see my bedroom?" 
Jessica asked. 

"Y-your bedroom?" Seth stuttered. 

"Yeah. Is something wrong?" 

"Uh, it's getting late. Maybe I'd 
better go," Seth said. 

"Oh. Sure. Shall I see you to 
the door?" 

"Certainly. Listen, it's been 
great going out with you," Seth said 
as they walked through the estate. 

"Yeah," Jessica said. "Some guys 
think I can't be approached because 
I come from a rich family and I'm popu- 
lar and things like that . That ' s not 
true. I'm just like any normal girl." 

"That's good to hear," Seth re- 
plied, relieved that his fears were to- 
tally unfounded. 

"I have feelings, thoughts, and 
desires. " 

"That's true." 

"And right now, what I desire is 
you!" Jessica said as she wrapped her 
arms around him and fixed her eyes on 
his. If Seth had a panic button, someone 
just pressed it. 

"Now — now, wait a minute, Jessica. 
I-I don't think that..." 

But Jessica wasn't listening. She 
was too busy unbuttoning Seth's shirt. 

"Now Jessica!" Seth yelled as he 
backed away from her, buttoning his 
shirt . 

"Did anyone ever tell you that you're 
soooo cute?" Jessica purred. 

Seth continued to back away, but 
stumbled over his own feet. 

Jessica kneeled down beside him, 
and embraced him. 

"Seth, what's wrong? Aren't you 
in the mood for a little . . . fun?" 

"Well, it's not that," Seth replied. 
"I-I like to have fun as much as the 
next person. It's just that. . ." 

Then someone in Seth's head started 

screaming at him. This someone screamed 
things like This is it! It's now or 
never! You'll never get this chance 
again! Seth knew what the voices were 
telling him. He had the desires to make 
love to a woman quite often. But, he 
always told himself that he should 
wait until he was married. And yet, 
there was no guarantee that he would 
get married. After all, who's to say? 
Even if he did get married, it was 
probably a long way off, and Jessica was 
right here, right now. Fortunately, 
Seth's brain had a sudden attack of 
sanity. It screamed at his legs to run 
like crazy. Seth got to his feet, and 
ran. Jessica kicked off her high heels 
and ran after him. The two ran a merry 
chase throughout the large estate. 
After being chased through the halls , 
around the kitchen table, into the den, 
out of the den, and over several pieces 
of furniture, Seth found himself in 
Jessica's parents' bedroom. Jessica 
had him cornered. 

"Are you getting tired, yet?" Seth 
asked her for the fifth time. 

"Nope. I'm still fired up," 
Jessica hissed as she got closer and 
closer, her arms outstretched. Seth 
leaped onto the bed, bounced off, and 
thrust open the doors to the bedroom 
balcony. He stood on the balcony, 
looking down at the large swimming 
pool. What the heck is a swimming 
pool doing so close to the house, 
he thought . Seth then felt a hand 
on his shoulder. He turned around. 
Jessica wrapped her arms around him, 
and pressed her face close to his. 

"You wouldn't want to leave 
a nice girl like me in this big house 
alone, would you?" she whispered ever 
so gently. 

Go for it ! Why are you trying to 
fight it? the voice inside him shrieked. 

Seth was all worn out from running 
(it would take care of his jogging 
for the rest of the week. ) He was 
tired, and Jessica was so beautiful. 
Maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all. 

No! No! It wouldn't be right, 
not yet anyway. With a massive 
effort of his strength, Seth pushed 
himself away from Jessica and jumped 


The Seduction of Seth Corrigan, continued 

off the balcony. He was suspended in mid-air 
for a fraction of a second, then plummeted 
into the pool. The cold water assaulted 
Seth's nerves, but he managed to swim to 
the surface and get out of the pool. 

"Seth!" Jessica yelled. 

"Look, Jessica," Seth said. "I like 
you. I like you a lot. But I just don't 
think I'm ready for sex yet. I hope you 

understand. " 

"All right. You know I respect you 
for this. Do you think we could go out 
again sometime?" 

"Oh, I don't see why not. I'll give 
you a call. Oh, and Jessica?" 

"Yes, Seth?" Jessica asked. 

"Thanks for the workout," Seth said 
as he headed for his car. 




To never gain 

is to never know 

how much pain 

it takes to show 

of what you're best: 

where is the "gift" - 

upon passing the Test - 

feeling the lift 

known as satisfaction 

seldom is found 

by a sour reaction 

if dynamic dreams 


to the hard-core ground 

To never cry 

is to never release 

a wish to die 

or the damaged piece 

in an anguished soul 

once perfectly well 

now darker than coal 

or a private hell 

hidden far away 

from any who'd see 

the severe price to pay 

if situations 

become entangled, 


To never desire 

is to never feel 

the glorious fire 

of life's finest appeal: 

the artistic act — 

sharing your life, 

treated "matter-of-fact" 

by many a man . . . 

and wife . . . 

creators can partake 

in fanatical sensitivity 

but never remake 

the vital First Rule 

nor its fabulous intensity. 


Elizabeth Russell 

Laurette Morello 









curves , 






No, you wouldn't really want 

to know what's on my mind. 

Because, if you did, 

you wouldn't be able 

to handle it as I can't. 




Val Heaton 




Pressed between my fantasies 
Beams a dim light of reality 
In the dreams that cloud my mind 
Just beyond my grasp of time 

There is someone else I can feel 

Who is swimming in my soul 

Yet I_ am drowning in it hopelessly 

Caught between here and reality 
There is no place for my thoughts 
For He_ is always hearing them 

Always . 

A taste of love 

a touch of live, 

authentic fervor — 

monumental remedy 

for sallowing soulaches 

and handcuffed hearts . 

a deluxe dinner 

at ala carte price. 

As the instance 

occurs , 



gain license 

to be fifteen again. 



Sharon Peck 




"I don't need you," said the finger, 

Pointing smugly at the toe. 

"We haven't much in common, 

And you're just too old to grow." 

Two eyes looked down upon the nose 
And narrowed in disgust. 
"That part is unattractive. 
He could never win our trust." 

The mouth was smirking at the ears 
And feeling rather proud. 
"That pair has never said a word. 
They shouldn't be allowed." 

And so the body suffered 
As each part did his best 
To make himself important, 
Forgetting all the rest. 

The pain grew strong and soon the body 
Moaned and groaned and cried. 
Its parts now independent, 
The body slowly died. 


A slightly heinous glance 

formed from carefree 


offbeat and vindictive 

provoking and honest 

from gut-level reaction — 

graphic , 


An eyebrow raised — 

a sneer unleashed — 

elemental , 

a force to inflame 

jaundiced mellowness 

into steel-belted 




Judy Belfleld 



Warm varnished doors 
lit mellow by halfhearted light 
in a one-windowed hallway 
late afternoon. 
I smell pork chops frying 
hear muted voices , 
a floor hoard complain 
under worn carpeting 
probably gray. 
I am alone again 
but I like it here 
sitting on the stairs 
in my sleeveless dress, 
in the shadowy hall 
sweat beads jiggling 
under the hair on my forehead 
in time with the wiggle of my leg. 
I could pretend to be 
the landlord — 
listen at doors 
peek through keyholes 
discover a forbidden kitten 
then raise hell- 
yell about eviction. 

Was that an ever-so-soft 
tiny little mew 
way off in a bedroom closet 
next to some little girl's rollaway bed? 
I'd be a mean landlord — 
put the kitten 
and the little girl 
on the street 
just as it got dark 
when all the monsters 
get restless 
start looking for 
little girls 

to do those horrible things to... 
But it's too hot to spy 

and I don't hear that kitten any more — 
probably eating those pork chops. 
Think I'll go upstairs 
and see what Mama's cooking. 

As I tiptoe past Mrs. 
I'll cross my fingers 
as usual: 

can't be too cautious 
with witches around. 

Palmer ' s door 

Old bedroom — 
in dim lucency 
where once I was king 
in my adolescence 
the entire world 

belonged to me 

inside four walls 

sweet jazz melodies 

drifting about, 

permitted a young 


to believe ideally 

of all I could be 


while sunstreaks glided 

across my bed 

to lead into night — 

I'd drift to sleep 

to dream about dreams 

of what life was to be 

at the moment , 

then . . . for me. 




Ten-year high school 


old black and white 

photos — 

and Dad ' s gun . 

A few yellowing pages 

a relative's life — 

or death, 

eons ago 

next to an ageless 

coin collection, 

so anciently priceless 

is worth as much 

as the price of these 

endeavors — 

the cost . . . 

years and years ago . 




John Buell 


Judy Belfield 

I saw a movie 

it was called Eraser Head 
I don't remember the plot; 

I think I was drunk. 
I woke up the next morning 

and looked in the mirror. 
I had Eraser Head's hair. 



Blue Baby 

got that way 

from blooded parents 

with silver-forked tongues , 


too good for cake, 

or living hog-low. 


fair determinant of worth, 

attended the birth 

cut the cord, 

strummed harmony 

on a gilded lyre; 

the notes , reaching 

angelic choirs, 

translated, transmitted, transported 

to God Itself. 


are blue Baby ' s eyes , 

a dimple in her chin 

the beginning of a black hole 

sucking air out of the far regions 

of Milky Way 

face turning blue 

as blue as blue . . . 

Around rosebud lips 

the faint shadow 

of oxygen-deprivation. 

A saxophone wails , 

"Save the baby" 

too late. 

Nobody cares. 



JJCX\ ST. JUrt\ OR <OV\H*2.